Behold this welcome image.
Where a hill rises from a bay.
There a tiny sheltered village lay.
All in the shadow of Windmill Cottage.
Steady breeze most every day.
Sails from afar spill their goodwill.
From their nets sea treasure abound.
Farms thrive above on fertile ground.
Good fortune trickles down the hill.
Sea birds fill the air with sound.
Ancient timbers shade from lofty stage.
Labored grain grows upward at the season’s rate.
Winds howl, warmth’s aglow on the hill top grate.
Flour flows freely down from Windmill Cottage.
Where nature’s breath spins the wheel of a poets estate.
He attends happily to familiar chores.
Quarterly ledgers bulge beneath waistcoat fair.
His quarterly journey to the bankers’ lair.
His shadow alone opens Main Street doors.
Harvest moon will guide homeward the fortunate heir.
Dusk creeps up as day slips by.
Modest and ordered with nothing ablaze.
Must avoid the many scrupulous gaze.
In the shadows inhibitions die.
A visit with strangers, heads all a daze.
Journey’s end in darkness where hill meets bay.
Tufted coaches dash the posh up to their inns.
Others huddle by fire pits drinking homemade gins.
The trades of the night swap those of day.
Church bells echo, atoning for their sins.
Just another blurry face on the wooden shores.
Where the day’s death lingers and ships bells ring.
Taverns fill, ale flows and drunken sailors sing.
Fiddles play and jigs are had on the dirty floors.
Habitual killers all, Oh what joy they bring
Few will stay, most homeward bound.
Some laugh loudly while others cry.
Some will fight, some will die.
In search of peace to be found –
In the deep or endless sky.
Faceless comfort fills empty space.
Men with silver are sick for a day.
Boys with gold suffer years away.
Moonlit romance lingers on perfumed lace.
Then life’s anew beyond the tiny bay.
Sharing much common thread,
In this moment “ brothers all.
Whale lamps flicker on sooty wall
Making friends while breaking bread.
All await the Bosun’s call.
In a corner where shadows overlap.
The poet searches for his light,
Where the day’s brew flows all night.
Safe, for now from his hilltop trap,
Layers of darkness, out of sight.
Behold this most unwelcome image.
The seat no more where the poet presides.
Now in his shadow a filthy little demon hides.
Return not quenched to Windmill Cottage –
And wait again for the new moon tides?
Lonely candle spews depth on a lonely face.
Unseen pests sing their unwanted song,
The scent of time ticking long.
His travels must be many, all left a trace.
In the darkness our senses strong.
Hat brim low to hide his shame.
The poet stutters with utter surprise.
The traveler snickers, doesn’t rise.
With sideways glance he asks the poets name.
Honestly answered by the fear in his eyes.
When after long hesitation a hasty reply ”
“A traveler like you” was all that he said.
But after some ale the silence was dead.
Yard by yard many distant words fly.
Palettes grow when faces shade red.
Cider was next and followed by rum.
The traveler’s tales all told in prose.
The wetter the lips the faster it flows.
Hated by most, loved by some.
That’s how a traveler’s life often goes.
The poet a rather tall fellow.
The traveler a poet by name.
So many ports traveled they all looked the same.
His heart pumped blue, the poet gay and mellow.
Opposite sides of a coin, no one is to blame.
“With little time to hone a craft –
With a draft from an open door.
To close then return no-more.
To open then evermore – the draft.
Spirits gone, gone the craft – nevermore.”
What dribble do you speak my friend?
The poet inquired in disgusted tone.
“The dribble I think when thirsty and alone.”
The traveler quipped with message to send.
I’ll tell you another, that’s my own.
“Silent words are never heard –
The voiceless poet stuttered.
Repeated babble muttered.
His rhymes always sputtered.
More mindless words would be absurd.
The air he breathed was glutted.
His helm so poorly ruddered.
His shirts all heavily buttered.
From his many toasts self-uttered.
His mind so free and uncluttered.
His weaknesses many and unobserved.
Blinded to the Reaper’s shadow – deserved.
Soon the voiceless poet will be unheard.
Then blissful quiet on his paths wandered.
His welcome silence – forever heard.”
Drunken rabble roared with delight.
The poet withered belittled.
The traveler’s attention fizzled.
When laudanum’s sipped out of sight.
The poet escaped most grizzled.
Out of the dark into the night.
Bellowing air; cold, wet and starless.
His poisoned lips know no finesse.
His state of mind out of time – not right.
The poet’s mind wanders aimless.
The traveler tucked snugly in his bunk.
With help from many new joyous fan.
All loved the howls of this traveled Wild-man.
His tales make perfect sense “ drunk.
The favorite carried and the pompous ass ran.
Boot heals clack on cobble slick.
While stallion slumbers atop golden bed.
The poet stumbles upward with achy head.
If only to have his gilt throat-ed stick.
This shadowy path he may be found dead.
The wind that is my fortune is slowly killing me.
This hill of heritage too high for me to climb.
With forceful push from the hands of time.
Drawing me back to a frigid sea.
My misery oh-so great ” it is oh-so sublime.
Head tucked low, bottom up always slow.
Darkness wanes to purples then red.
Day is born, horrors of the night soon dead.
Hands and knees bloodied and bruised – falls of woe.
Alas the bodies of servants to guide to downy bed.
Winter’s behind, graven plans regress.
Fevered sleep past, shadows of death dawdle.
Summer awaits, the poet’s lessons dwindle.
His magnum opus went off to press.
Journey to Main Street, praise to guzzle.
Surveying high atop his magnificent mount.
The poet exclaimed “behold this welcome image”
Deceived by the bustle, not he the homage.
But a tome by a worldly traveler – no doubt.
It was “In the Shadow of Windmill Cottage”